The Long Weekender: Julian Schnabel’s exhibit, the air show and five other things to do this holiday weekend
1. JULIAN SCHNABEL: ART AND FILM
One-time New York art world enfant terrible Julian Schnabel is better known for his films (Basquiat, Before Night Falls and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), but his paintings, among them large-scale works painted on broken crockery, are just as compelling. Check both out at the AGO’s newest exhibit. Sept. 1 to Jan. 2, 2011. $19.50. Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6648, ago.net.
2. ASHKENAZ (FREE!)
This Harbourfront festival showcases Jewish culture at home and around the world. Don’t miss Balkan Beat Box, an Israeli (by way of New York) music group that somehow manages to combine traditional Mediterranean music with hip hop and dub and be totally listenable. The group is known for its wild and circus-like live shows, which bodes well for the party monsters among us. Sept. 4 to 6. Harbourfront Centre, 231 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
3. YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE
Possibly the only kids’ show we can stand to watch for more than two minutes, the appeal of Yo Gabba Gabba! comes down to the show’s kick-ass guest stars, like The Roots, Ladytron and the Shins. OK, and the interestingly named characters, like Brobee, Plex and our personal favourite, Foofa. Sept. 4. $35–$75.25. Molson Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 416-870-8000, livenation.com.
4. CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL AIR SHOW
It’s next to impossible to score a good seat, and earplugs are often necessary, but no matter how much we complain, we’ll definitely be in the audience for this weekend’s air show. It’s pretty much the essential end-of-summer Toronto experience, and who are we to question that? Sept. 4 to 6. Free with entrance to CNE, $16. Exhibition Place Waterfront, 210 Princes’ Blvd., 416-263-3650, cias.org.
5. CONCERTS AT THE EX
Our visits to the CNE follow a very strict schedule (midway, cotton candy, midway, Food Building, the SuperDogs, cotton candy, repeat as necessary), but there are other reasons to go to the Ex—namely the free concerts. This weekend, we’re excited to see Canadian rockers Bedouin Soundclash, and our aunt has already scoped out her seat for disco queen Gloria Gaynor. Sept. 3 to 5. CNE admission $16. The Bandshell, Exhibition Place, 210 Princes’ Blvd., 416-393-6300, theex.com.
6. HISPANIC FIESTA 2010 (FREE!)
Taste tests are always appreciated, and live music is always fun, but the dancing really steals the show at this cultural fest, which showcases the heritage of over 20 Spanish-speaking countries. Check out the pro tango and flamenco dancers and, for the extra-brave, try it yourself. Sept. 3 to 6. Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge St., hispanicfiesta.com.
7. LABOUR DAY PARADE (FREE!)
For many of us, Labour Day is the last chance to sit dockside before the hustle and bustle of September, but there’s an actual reason it’s called Labour Day, y’know. The CNE even holds an annual parade to celebrate the nation’s workers. Sept. 6. Parade proceeds west on Queen to Dufferin, south on Dufferin to CNE, 416-393-6300, theex.com.